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MELISSA SWEET | April 23, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | |

Is satire a useful tool for climate change communications? (And some F-bombing)

Some days the climate change debate is so awfully absurd that it’s a toss up between whether to laugh or cry. Most days, in fact. On one hand, we hear that leaders of the IMF, World Bank and UN are pushing for a price on carbon, and that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is calling for an [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 22, 2014 | FEDERAL BUDGET 2014-15 | 6 |

Predictions about demise of Medicare Locals are not good news for health or healthcare costs

The Federal Budget is looking like bad news for Medicare Locals – and this means bad news for the community’s health and the future of healthcare costs, says health policy analyst Jennifer Doggett. Below her article are links to recommended reading on recent health policy news – and some Twitter reaction to today’s headlines. Jennifer [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 22, 2014 | @WEPUBLICHEALTH | 3 |

Declaring a Twitter day of action – and listening – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

The Twitterverse is an endless source of news and conversations about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In recognition of the vibrancy of the Indigenous health Twittersphere, Croakey is supporting an idea to declare May 1 as a day of Twitter action for Indigenous health. The idea is the brainchild of Dr Lynore Geia, a [...]

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KELLIE BISSET | April 22, 2014 | CLIMATE CHANGE | 3 |

The Health Wrap: What the evidence uncovered; reaching out to vaccine skeptics; health funding waiting games

By Kellie Bisset What the evidence uncovered Evidence has turned the tables on two issues this past fortnight: whether our multimillion national investment in antiviral drugs is justified; and whether significant spending on alternative treatments such as homeopathy is a good use of money. First, to antiviral drugs, and the release of a Cochrane Review [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 21, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | |

Some questions about the new investments in diabetes care

Will we be able to tell if an increased investment in diabetes care is improving patients’ health? Only if we have meaningful data collection systems in place, suggests this latest update from the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service. *** Will diabetes projects deliver value for money? Katrina Erny-Albrecht writes: Diabetes is clearly on [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 17, 2014 | EVIDENCE-BASED ISSUES | |

An expert’s questions for the Australian Government on the “Scamiflu” saga

(A Federal Health Department response to this post was added on 18 April). “Most experts would agree that the modest benefits of Tamiflu and Relenza, as reported by the review, do not justify the increased adverse risks, let alone the money spent on them…” So says an NHS Choices analysis of an important systematic review [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 16, 2014 | GLOBAL HEALTH | |

The real drivers of so much poor health – the inequitable distribution of power and resources

The implications of rising levels of inequality for the economy and indeed the future of capitalism are gaining plenty of attention thanks to the splash being created by a new book by economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics, reportedly calls for a return to far [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | April 15, 2014 | DISABILITIES | 2 |

The NDIS must bring disruptive change without doing harm: mental health leader

Those responsible for implementing the NDIS should keep in mind the advice of a certain Roman emperor – “to make haste slowly”, says Frank Quinlan, the CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia. *** The NDIS and Mental Health: Make change quickly – but don’t rush Frank Quinlan writes: Around 27 BC, Rome’s first [...]

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Warning, warning – these are weird times when zombies are attacking the health system

In a sign of the general level of weirdness surrounding recent health policy debates, the AMA is calling on the Government to “put an end to the crazy policy speculation being floated in the media”. So weird and worrying are the signs, in fact, that Dr Tim Senior is fearing zombie apocalypse. And yes, you [...]

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FRONJACKSONWEBB | April 14, 2014 | HEALTH REFORM | |

Hospital workforce reform: better jobs and more care

Peter Breadon writes: Employees are the public hospital system’s most valuable resource, and its biggest cost. Wages account for nearly 70% of recurrent hospital spending. To keep hospital care affordable in a time of rising demand, it’s vital that skills are used to the full. Yet many professionals work well below their skill level.

Does it take 15 years of post-school medical education to safely do a colonoscopy or give light sedation to a stable patient? Does it take a three-year nursing degree [...]

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